What other symptoms might occur with blue hands?

Blue hands are generally due to a lack of oxygen in the blood. Often, this can be caused by an underlying condition that may cause other symptoms.

Cardiac and respiratory symptoms that may occur along with blue hands

Blue hands may accompany other symptoms affecting the heart or respiratory system including:

  • Chest pain
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Leaning forward when sitting to breathe more easily
  • Rapid breathing (tachypnea) or shortness of breath
  • Use of rib cage muscles in an attempt to breathe more easily

Other symptoms that may occur along with blue hands

Blue hands may accompany symptoms related to other body systems. These symptoms include:

  • Confusion or loss of consciousness for even a brief moment
  • Enlargement of the skin beneath the nail beds (clubbing)
  • Fever
  • Irritability, fussiness, poor feeding, and poor sleeping (in infants and young children)
  • More frequent headaches than you typically have
  • Lethargy
  • Swelling of tissue beneath the nail beds (clubbing)

Serious symptoms that might indicate a life-threatening condition

In some cases, blue hands may be a symptom of a life-threatening condition that should be immediately evaluated in an emergency setting. Seek immediate medical care (call 911) if you, or someone you are with, have any of these life-threatening symptoms:

  • Arm swelling
  • Bluish coloration of the skin, fingernails, or mucous membranes
  • Chest pain
  • Confusion or loss of consciousness for even a brief moment
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Lethargy
  • Limpness

What are blue hands?

Blue hands occur when the skin in the hands takes on a bluish tint or color. This generally is due to either a lack of oxygen in the blood or extremely cold temperatures. When the skin becomes a bluish color, the symptom is called cyanosis.

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What causes blue hands?

Blue hands are usually caused by a lack of oxygen in the blood, although they may also be caused by extreme cold. Decreased oxygen levels in the blood can be due to a variety of underlying conditions.

Cardiovascular causes of blue hands

Blue hands may be caused by cardiovascular disorders including:

Medical Reviewer: Cynthia Haines, MD Last Annual Review Date: Jul 31, 2013 Copyright: © Copyright 2014 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Health Grades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the HealthGrades User Agreement.

This Article is Filed Under: Skin, Hair and Nails

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